Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán once again voiced his country’s firm rejection of the proposed EU ban on the import of all Russian oil currently being considered by the European Commission, saying it would be as if an atomic bomb was dropped on the economy.
He said bluntly in an interview with a national public broadcaster that it would be like “Dropping a nuclear bomb on the Hungarian economy”.
“We cannot accept a proposal that ignores this”, Orbán again stressed, while saying that his government would remain “happy to negotiate” a compromise that would take Hungary’s demands seriously.
The trio of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic now constitute a major obstacle to a ban on Russian oil, as the question of exemptions granted by the European Commission is central. Bulgaria has become the latest country to propose the granting of exemptions.
Some countries also require more time to find alternative supplies, maybe even three to five years before a ban takes effect – although it is possible that the war was long over by then.
Orbán also said that Hungary “would need four to five years to revamp its energy system and become independent of Russian oil,” as his latest interview comments summed up. euro news“He noted that, while other EU states may pass additional barrels of crude through their ports, Hungary, a landlocked country, does not have this alternative route.”
Thus, it is clear at this point that a growing list of countries, led by the example of the outspoken Hungarian leader, are less than eager to heed Ursula von der Leyen’s call to make “sacrifices “in order to punish Russia and Putin for the Ukrainian invasion:
The costs to the EU would be high, von der Leyen said, but added that it was a step worth taking to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
“Let’s be clear: it won’t be easy. Some Member States are heavily dependent on Russian oil. But we just have to work on it,” the she Told the European Parliament.
Earlier in the week, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala Explain of his country’s desire for exemption: “We are ready to support this decision on condition that the Czech Republic may delay its implementation until the capacity of the pipelines leading to the Czech Republic is increased.”
#HungaryPrime Minister Viktor Orban has said he wants a five-year exemption – instead of the one-year deadline currently being considered – for the nation to comply with an EU ban on #Russiait is #oil. https://t.co/CKRc7iTGof
— Olga Tanas (@olyatanas) May 6, 2022
However, we doubt that Putin’s wartime strategy will be affected much if there is a youtransition period of 2 to 3 years or even 5 years before an oil ban takes effect, which is precisely what the Czech Republic and others, with Hungary at the helm, are now proposing.
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